Yesterday, I told you about our hero, Scott, from my upcoming book, Special Assignment. Today we’re going to talk about our heroine, Melissa Ellis. Like Scott, Melissa has appeared in the previous two books, Protective Custody and Flash Point. But all we knew about her was that she was very organized and held a high position for a defense contractor. So I had to also come up with a significant challenge for her. And one of the best ways to do that is to put two of her values in opposition.
Yes, we authors are cruel. 🙂 But how many times in your life have you had to choose between two important things? If Melissa does what is morally right, she could be putting her team members’ jobs in jeopardy. She’d do anything for her team. Yet, she also wants to do the right thing. It’s a hard choice that takes her the whole book to work through.
I remember a season of my life when I went through a similar thing. I was a managing editor of a Big 5 publishing house imprint. I loved my job, but it was a lot of work. I also was a single mom to two special needs kids. I had to work to provide for them and their medical needs and therapies. But work also kept me away from them. I felt like I was constantly in a juggling act, afraid of letting someone down. it was a very long season for me, and part of why I decided to start my own publishing services company, Tandem Services.
So I was quite familiar with the emotions that Melissa felt, that tug of war between two very important things. There is a high cost to leadership and integrity. Not everyone wants to pay it.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about about where I set the books and why. Stay tuned!